Skip to main content
Internet Archive's 25th Anniversary Logo

Full text of "The Communist Vol. II #2 March 1, 1920"

See other formats


The Communist 

. AU Power to the Workers! 



Vol. II, No. ArZ 



Official Organ of the Communist Party of America 



MARCH 1, 1920 



Price, 5 Cents 



To the American Communist Partv 

>e greetings of Louis C. Fraina, International S,r,« m , „ f .u. * 



lowing response from ,he Dmch p.m 0» ,^1" * T^ the fo1 " 

"rvrr ,o ioin - -~«== rr.-j^s 

vital iactor m the European movement] 






Dear Comrades: 

The Communist Party of Holland sends you its fraternal greetings, 
m response to the greetings of your party. It is not in a formal fpirit, bu 
in the spirit of active revolutionary solidarity that we answer you-and es- 
pecaljy at this moment, when all the terrible power and savagery of the 
American government are being used against the revolutionary* movement 
«f ..the Lnited States, and particularly against the Communist Party 

* We are aware of the brutal repressive measures used against you- 
.c Tie brigand raids upon your meeting places, of the arrest of 4000 of your 
members and of nearly all your officials, of the threatened use of the death 
penalty agamst active revolutionists. We ar.e aware of the White Terror 
of the American bourgeoisie-the most brutal and powerful in the world- 
although we do not feel its sting as you do. Comrades of the Communist 
Party, courage and faith! Courage in your magnificent struggle against 
the reaction-for Soviet Russia and the Communist International! Faith 
m the coming revolutionary action of the world proletariat! 

The repression you are experiencing is an indication of a revolutionary 
iwakening among the American workers. Your great strikes— and the 
tehsive revolutionary agitation of the Communist Party in these strikes- 
augurs of great changes to come, of a developing sense of mass action I 
tag the wnrfcers. 
^T^a^u^comrades. history "lays a-sreat task. American Capitalism I 



All the facts indicate that the final struggle between proletariat an H h 

We feel the utmost confidence in the American proletariat We feel 
comrades, the utmost confidence that the Communist LtyrZLsZZ 
port of its historic task, and will fulfill it— in snitP „f real,zes *e im- 

sion-in spite of the government and the ICffiLS^ "* ^ 

ri.ll ,.l h \ fight l hat y ° Ur Left Win S f0u ^ ht and ™>n ^ the American So 
call t Party we fought and won ten years ago in our .truffilV^aW the" 
reactionary party of Troelstra & Co. The Communist Party of Ed ' 
un.ted-as your is-upon adherence to the Third Intern*,!,™! W ° llaRd 1S 
Soviets and proletarian dictatorship as jj ££ %%%%£*££ 

Comrades, battered and bruised, you will still carrv nn +t,« 
gle. We know it. 7 ° n the great stru S~ 

Long live the Communist Party of America i T nno- i,\ ,u r 
munist International! America. Long live the Com- 

For the Communist Party of Holland 
A*m-erdam, D " L W^(X>P Preside, 



.tttheoberg Again Arrested 

EXECUTIVE Secretary Ruthenberg was 
arrested February 17th at Detroit for 
the Illinois authorities. He waived contest 
of extradition and was taken to the Cook 
County Jail. Bail of $10,000 was secured 
February 24th, and now Comrade Ruthen 
-rg is at the call of either New York or 
llinois, with a total of $25,000 bail against 
him. 

On the understanding that'Illinois would 
await the outcome of the New York case 
Against Ruthenberg and Ferguson, there 
was no idea that such an arrest would be 
made, since both Ruthenberg and Fergu- 
son have been ready to respond to either 
oi the charges whenever called.' 

Meanwhile the prosecutors have come 
to an agreement that the Chicago trial is 
to be given precedence, so Ferguson too 
i* likely soon to be returned to Chicago, 
keing still in the East. 



Gabriel in Prison 



W/ALTER GABRIEL, Secretary of the 
" Communist Party in Newark, New 
Jersey, was found guilty after a three-day 
tnal on February 11th, and sentenced to 
*erve 2 to 10 years in the penitentiary, 
w »th a nne of $500, There were two 
charges, ont membership in the Commun- 
al Party, the other based on Comrade 
Gabriel's answers to the judge in the po- 
lice court examination. 

The trial was quite spectacular and im- 
Prejuve, Comrade Gabriel making a high- 
ly creditable showing on the witness stand, 
particularly refusing under every pressure 
to reveal the names' of any of his party 
co-workers in Newark. 

Comrade Ferguson was attorney for the 
defense and won commendation for his 
exposition of the Communist program and 
h '» Plea for Gabriel. 

The case will be appealed, with every 



prospect of a reversal. Bail pending the 
appeal is set at $10,000 and some of the 
liberals in New York are interesting them- 
selves in securing bail and funds for the 
appeal, realizing the importance of this 
case as the first criminal conviction in 
America for mere membership in a political 
organization. 

The appeal also will be argued by Com- 
rade Ferguson, assuring strict adherence 
to the party principles, as in the trial of 
this case and as in the argument before 
the Secretary of Labor on the deportation 
cases. 



Seventh General Soviet Congress 



SCOTTISH I. L. P. FOR THIRD 
INTERNATIONAL 

At a recent national convention held at 
Paisley, the I. L. P. (Independent Labor 
Party) of Scotland voted by a large ma- 
jority to sever its relations with the Sec- 
ond International and to affiliate with the 
Third International. 

The vote for the step was 158 to 28. The 
minority delegates were unanimous for 
severing relations with the Second Inter- 
national, but they wanted to hold up ac- 
tion on affiliating with Moscow until the 
results were known of the attempt on the 
part of the German Independent Socialists 
to summon an international congress of 
the "left wing" of the Second Internation- 
al, which would discuss forming an entente 
with Moscow. 

When the vote was announced, "there 
followed a demonstration of enthusiasm 
such as had never before been equalled 
in a Scottish I. L. P. conference. Dele- 
gates jumped to their feet in one delirious 
frenzy, surprised and gratified that they 
were united in their desire to Jink up with 
the Moscow International. It was a spon- 
taneous outburst of cheering which 
astounded the press agents (reporters) 
who asked what it was all about," ac- 
cording to the Manchester Labor Leader. 



TjlROM "Folkets Dagblad Politiken 
1 Stockholm, December 13, 1919, are 
taken some fragmentary items concerning 
the Seventh Russian Soviet Congress: 

Party Representation at Congress 

By a decision of the All-Russian Central 
Executive Committee admission with con- 
sultative rights was given to representa- 
tives from all parties which have declared 
themselves in defense of the Soviet Re- 
public. 

These parties are: the Russian Commun- 
ist Party; the Bolshevist Communist Party 
of Ukrainia; the Social Democratic Party 
of the Mensheviki; the Revolutionary Com 
munist Party; the International Social 
^Democratic Party; the Bund; the Ukrain- 
ian "Borobisti" Party; the Right Social 
Revolutionary Party of Ukrainia; deviat- 
ing factions of the Social Revolutionary 
Party; the Poale Zion Party; the Society 
of Maximalist Social Revolutionaries. 

The Bolsheviki recognize that these dif- 
ferent parties and sections intend to sup- 
port the Soviet Government, not only 
against its outside enemies but also in its 
great task of constructing the Russian So- 
cialist Federal Soviet Republic. 



peace that will undermine us. The work- 
er and peasant government it the only 
power in Russia, and will always remain 



Progress at Ellis jlsland 



Expulsion of Friedrich Adler 

Upon proposal of Trotsky the Congress 
expelled Friedrich Adler from its honorary 
membership. The reasons were his rela- 
tions with the bourgeoisie parties and his 
defense of coalitions. 

Peace Terms of Soviet Russia 

The official statement of the Congress 
on peace terms follows; 

"The Entente U considering an armii- 

=• with Ru.,ia. We will make peace, but 

upon condition, that the Entente does not 

interfere in our affair.. We are ready to 

make conce,.ion. but will not .ign any 



TT is now reported that nearly 400 of those 
J- taken to Ellis Island on deportation 
warrants are out on bail, while 81 are 
still in confinement. 

Hearings have begun but are proceeding 
very slowly. B 

Contrary to rumors and gossip, prac- 
tically none of the priioner. wi.h to be 
deported, the exceptions being a very few 
who are discouraged because they have 
not been able to secure bail. No matter 
that some of the deportees, along with 
hundred of thousand of their countrymen 
now prefer Europe— particularly Russia— 
to America, they do not wish to subject 
themselves to the arbitrary, despotic and 
often cruel process of deportation. 

No exact figures are available, but it 
appears that most of the deportees are 
alleged to be members of the Communist 
Party. In some instances, it is charged, 
the Department of Justice agents have 
themselves made out membership cards in 
order to substantiate their warrants. 



RAILROAD STRIKE IN FRANCE 

The French railroad strike is spreading 
rapidly. It has taken on a political char- 
acter. The capitalists are again relying on 
a "Socialist" minister to break the strike. 
Mobilization orders affecting nearly half 
the railway workers have been issued. The 
aim is to break the strike by calling the 
workers to the Colors. 

Comrade Minor, one of the leading fig- 
ures in the strike and one of the best 
known French Communists, has already 
been arrested. 



- 



THE COMMUNIST 



March 1, 1920 



m 




LENIN-TROTSKY-ZINOVIEV INTER- 
VIEWS 

THE series of interviews granted to 
Lincoln Eyre of the New York "World" 
by Lenin, Trotsky and Zinovicv are of the 
highest international importance. We go 
to press as the second of the interviews, 
that of Trotsky, appears. 

Lack of space compels us to postpone 
comment on these momentous statements 
until our next issue, at which time the 
whole series and the press comment upon 
these interviews will be before us. 

Meanwhile it is obvious that the affairs 
of Soviet Russia— thanks to the valor of 
the Red Army— have passed into a new 
stage. The Communist International is 
rapidly becoming a formidable opponent 
to the League of Crippled Capitalist Na- 
tions. 

» * * 

THE CATHOLIC MANIFESTO 

ON Sunday, February 22nd, was read in 
all the Catholic churches a ten-page 
pastoral letter, signed by Cardinal Gib- 
bons and "coming from all the Archbishops 
and Bishops of this country"— the first is- 
sued for 35 years. This letter is most sig- 
nificant of the assertive character of reac- 
tion in the United States of 1920. 

There was a considerable period when 
the Catholic Church was a mighty power 
against capitalism itself, and the survival 
of this is the bourgeois-democratic tradi- 
tion of non-interference by the Church in 
the affairs of the State. But now the 
Church is a bulwark, perhaps the chief bul- 
wark, of capitalism, and Church and State 
are reunited. The Church now serves cap- 
italism as before it served feudalism and 
absolute monarchy. 

This pastoral letter seems to pass by 

without editorial comment, by contrast 

* jv.« lib A r.alisJi£ ^crln*-— .triven * n the 

-against tin. 

speech" and "right of representation." 
This protest is part of the weakest "liberal- 
ism" which exists in any of the great na- 
tions, excepting perhaps Japan. Our 
American "liberalism" is weak because the 
very rapiditj' of our imperialistic progress 
easily sweeps aside all middle-of-the-road 
timidities of the less aggressive and more 
humane capitalists and the "respectable" 
proletariat, compelling the decisive con- 
flict between Imperialism and Communism. 
But this pastoral letter is the organization 
voice of fully ten per cent of the American 
people. It is not the vague flourish of 
supine "liberalism." It is an item reveal- 
ing the studied propaganda of reactionists, 
a propaganda backed by the most power- 
ful educational organization in the world, 
an organization which rallies to the pur- 
poses of reaction its profound traditions 
and experience of nineteen centuries. 

In the United States of 1920, with Palmer 
as Attorney General, it hardly seems 
strange to read a church pronunciamento 
thundering condemnation upon those who 
"slander" State or Church. Since the 
French Revolution, it is safe to say, no 
such text has issued outside of Russia, 
though China and Japan have identified 
sovereignty with deity. And of these only 
Japan is now to be compared with "free" 
America ! 

The Catholic ban against divorce is re- 
stated, thus staunchly holding inviolate 
the contract and property character of 
"holy" matrimony, thrusting the human as- 
pects of marriage aside as mere "individual 
pleasure or whim," No divorce, "the one 
safeguard of decency and purity in the 
sex relation!" . . . "If the obligations as- 
sumed through marriage can.be so lightly 
cancelled, it is hard to see what value shall 
attach to other covenants when these are 
not enforceable by law." Divorce does not 
ignore "the obligations assumed through 
marriage." But what is aimed at by the 
Church is a compulsion of submissiveness 
more pervasive than all power of law. 
There is a caution against lavish display 



of riches, lest the envy of the less for- 
tunate classes be aroused. At least the 
Catholic hierarchy is not so stupid as to 
insist on the non-existence of classes, 
only it urges universal acquiescence with 
things as they are. 

On the subject of capital and labor the 
document is particularly interesting. "The 
failure to reach an agreement is due, in 
large measure, to the supposition that class 
is naturally hostile to class. In truth, each 
needs the other. Capital cannot do with- 
out labor, nor labor without capital. This 
is obvious; but the more important point 
is that capital and labor are bound by mu 
tual obligations, not simply by mutual 
needs or interests." 

Labor needs the tools of labor, the mines, 
the earth, the factories, the mills — it does 
not need the capitalist. The financier must 
give way to the technician of industrial 
management and parliaments must yield 
place to the congresses of workers' spokes- 
men. Capital cannot do without labor 
nor can capitalists exploit labor without 
the consent of the workers as a class. 
Therefore is urged "the right of capital 
to a fair day's work" in exchange for "a 
living wage." No animosity, no mistrust- 
the slaves must be kept alive, on the one 
hand, and in turn must with "good will" 
and "justice" give unto capital its custo- 
mary tolls. 

In this issue we print one of Babson's 
Reports dealing with "Churches." It is 
a fitting accompaniment to the Catholic 
pastoral letter. 

# * * 

THE YELLOWS AT ALBANY 

IX the name of Socialism! The genius 
of the Yellows, the "authority" Morris 
Hillquit takes the stand and delivers him- 
self thusly: 

Tin, of 
..i* Constitu- 
i United States as the form 
upon wnich to build the future so- 
ciety." 

"The Third International is scarce- 
ly more than an idea or a name." 
" "I should say that the Socialists of 
the United States would have no 
hesitancy whatever in joining forces 
with the" rest of their countrymen to 
repel the Bolsheviki who would try 
to invade our country and force a 
form of government upon our peo- 
ple which our people are not ready 
for and do not desire." 

Well, Mr. Hillquit, how do you deter- 
mine what "our people" desire? And oh! 
those- pages upon pages of your writing 
and talking about the class struggle! 

Socialists would do anything rather than 
break a capitalist law, so declares the 
"authoritj'." What about Debs? Ah, in- 
deed, Debs broke no law. How comfort- 
ing to our comrade behind the steel bars 
at Atlanta! 

And so on, ad nauseum. The American 
Socialist Party has become a stench in the 
nostrils of all who accept with serious- 
ness the fact and tragedy and revolution- 
ary promise of the class struggle. At least, 
Scheidemann and Ebert and Noske were 
face to face with grim realities of social 
conflict. The treason at Albany is to save 
five insignificant legislative jobs and to 
keep open this Hillquit-Lee-Stedman-Ger- 
bcr-Berger game of playing working-class 
politics. To what end? So that here, too, 
the junker class shall not be without 
friends who can disport themselves and 
work havoc with the profound phrases of 
the proletarian revolution. 

Fortunately our American Yellows are 
the puniest of all the Yellows. We have 
here no Adlcr, Longuet, Vaudervelde, 
Branting, Macdonald, Henderson, Huys- 
man, Turati, Martov, Kautsky, etc., etc. 
The American Yellows are merely "shys- 
ter"' politicians and they never can be- 
come a power in the proletarian move- 
ment in this country. 

Out of the ferment of great strikes, and 
out of intense study and factional con- 
flict among the groups of the Left, will 



come the real revolutionary leadership 
of America. It will not be of the wordy, 
spineless Hillquit type. There will be men 
and women with the genius of straight- 
forward thinking and unflinching action — 
and perhaps it will require a considerable 
schooling such as our capitalists are now 
giving the "reds" in the courts and in the 
prisons to develop this leadership. 

We have witnessed the Socialists at Al 
bany. We have yet to witness the Com- 
munist Laborites, the Communists and the 
I. W. W.'s at Chicago and elsewhere. 

And we must not forget the men and 
women who have been in prison since 
1917 in spite of the perfect "lawfulness" 
of the Executive Committee of the Social 
ist Party. Only a craven Hillquit could 
degrade Debs as a ' patriot," when every 
oneyknows the servii ty of that name as 
usea by Hillquit. 

We still claim Debs is a prisoner of the 
class war, and we do not disavow his 
guilt as declared by the capitalist courts. 
We do not relish the imprisonment of 
Debs, nor of anyone else, but we would 
not want Debs free at the Hillquit price. 

Legal defense by revolutionaries is made 
as a challenge of the ruling class process 
in the particular case. It is never an ad- 
mission that there will be conformity to the 
laws by wl»ich capitalism maintains its 
domination. 

The Socialists will be perfectly lawful 
until they have won a majority! Mark the 
ferocity thereafter, as if there were re- 
pression for just such a day only to break 
forth in a terrific rage! 

The CoromuntiU will be lawful only *o 
long a* the capitalists stand by while Com 
muniim it agitated and, its forcei of action 
developed. It is for the enemy to say 
when Communism is unlawful, It i* for 
us to insist that we shall none the le»i 
...main Communists and that Louimuniim 
will continue to mean what the class Strug- 
gle, not the capitalist laws, shall deter- 
mine. 



gust for the deceivers who govern you 
for the renegades who have betrayed you, 
for the cowards who nurse you with hopes 
for the Clemenceaus, the Thomas's, the 
Longuets, The process of Communism is 
going on: take these men, with all your 
strength get rid of the bourgeois capitalist 
regime. Send us a radio by the 7th of 
November. Send us from France a mes- 
sage of hope and triumph, for the Soviet 
Congress on the 3rd of December. For- 
ward for Communism! 

The" Bureau of the Moscow French 
Communist Group, 



RADIO 

October 28. 
To the French Government 
To all the workers 
To the French Communists 
To the Confederation General du Travail 
To the Socialist Party 
To all 

THE French* Communist Group declares 
to the unclean government of France 
that Comrade Sadoul. accused of desertion, 
incitement to mutiny, disobedience, com- 
munication with the enemy, is no more to 
blame for these crimes than the other 
members of the French Communist Group, 
Many like him are former members of the 
French Military Mission in Russia, and all 
of them call the French workers and sol- 
diers to revolt. Like him, they all do their 
best to serve the Russian Soviet Republic, 
against which the government at Paris 
has never dared to officially declare war, 
Comrade Sadoul is a member of the French 
Communist Group, but he did not found it, 
he was not the only one to bring it to- 
gether, nor was he the most active con 
tributor to its paper. He has not been 
the only one to preach Communism to the 
soldiers and prisoners of France who 
joined the army or the French Communist 
Group at Odessa or Moscow. If, then, as 
the English, American, and German radios 
state, the French government suddenly de- 
cides to condemn Sadoul alone, and not the 
comrades with whom he worked, and 
against whom evidence has ahead}- been 
found, it is because it has placed once more 
its pretended military justice at the ser- 
vice of the policy of the moment. The 
French Communist Group warns the work- 
ers against this manoevre: they pretend, 
in condemning a man, to kill an idea. Or- 
ganized workers, the French Communist 
Group invites you to demonstrate your dis- 



CHURCHES 
Babson's Reports — Special Letter 

Wellesley Hills, Mass., Jan. 27, 1920. 

WHAT is our real security for the stocks, 
bonds, mortgages, deed and other in- 
vestments which we own? . . . 

You may have a mortgage on my house. 
Your mortgage is of value only as every- 
one connected with it — the lawyer who 

drew it — the notary who acknowledged it 

and the little stenographer who copied it 
up to the jury which enforced it, is honest 
Yes, and even then you cannot get me out 
of my house unless the majority of the 
entire community is honest. With the 
community sympathizing with me, the offi- 
cers would not and could not put me out 
Under such circumstances what would 
your mortgage be worth? Absolutely 
nothing. Moreover, if this is true regard- 
ing a local mortgage, it is much more seri- 
ous ^n connection with our investments in 
railroads, in industries and other properrie 
j outside the city where we live. 

What does all this mean? It mean* 
the real security for the_ stocks, t 
mortKa££i^__d£_£iis a_nd ,othe=. inv*«t 
which we own is the integrity of tb« jvu* 
munity. The steel boxes, the legal pancr 
and other things which we look upon 
i so important are the mere shells of t 
eggs. The value of our investments -oc 
pends not on the strength of our banks, 
but rather upon the strength of our 
churches. The underpaid preachers of the 
nation are the men upon whom we are 
really depending rather than the well-paid 
lawyers, bankers and brokers. The re- 
ligion of the community is really the bul- 
wark of our investments. And when we 
consider that only 15 per cent of the peo- 
ple hold securities of any kind and less 
than 3 per cent hold enough to pay an 
income tax, the>importance of the churches 
becomes even more evident. 

For our own sakes, for our children's 
sakes, for the nation's sake, let us business 
men get behind the churches and their 
preachers ! Never mind if they are not per- 
fect, never mind if their theology is out 
of date. This only means that were they 
efficient they would do very much more. 
The safety of all we have is due to the 
churches, even in their present inefficient 
and inactive state. By all that we hold 
dear, let us from this very day give more 
time, money and thought to the churches 
of our city, for upon these the value of all 
we own ultimately depends! 

ROGER W/BABSON. 



An advertisement in the New York "Call" 
reads: "Victor L. Berger knows Socialism 
as few men in the international socialistic 
movement know it." Now that is some- 
thing to be thankful for. Let us hope it 
is very few. 

And Victor is going to show that Com- 
munism is "a retrogression to a very primi- 
tive and low stage of human society!" 

Between Victor Berger, Harold Lord 
Vaxney, Morris Hillquit and John Spargo 
poor feeble Bolshevism is just about done 
for! But it does seem persistent 
Notice how many new parties are joining 
the Communist International, that thing 
scarcely more than a name?" 






March 1, 1920 



THE COMMUNIST 



The Communist Party of America 

(Reprinted from "The Call," official organ of the British Socialist Party) 



TP7E have received the following state 
W merit from an authorized representa- 
tive of the Communist Party of America: 

In the "Daily Herald" of January Sth ap- 
pears a cable from America containing cer- 
tain accusations against the American Com- 
munist Party made by Santeri Nuorteva, 
The accusations allege: 

I. That agents of the Department of 
Justice "organized the Communist Party 
of America." 

Z That these agents "dictated the parts 
of the Communist Party programme which 
now constitute the basis for wholesale 
prosecutions and deportations." 

Mr. Hanna characterizes these accusa- 
tions as "astounding." They are more than 
astounding — they are criminal. 

1. That government agents organized 
the Communist Party of America 
stupid as it is preposterous. The movement 
toward the Communist Party is interna- 
tional; it is a movement determined by the 
war, by the betrayal of Socialism, and the 
collapse of the Second International, and 
by the proletarian revolution in Russia. 
The old Socialist movement has been split 
asunder, the Left elements rallying to the 
Communist Party and the Communist In- 
ternational. 

2. It is monumental audacity, and worse, 
to say that Government agents "dictated 
the parts of the Communist Party pro- 



Thesc parts of our programme concern 
mass action, destruction of the bourgeois 
state and dictatorship of the proletariat, 
and these arc copied almost word for 
word from the manifesto of the Com- 
munist International. In fact, circulation 
of this manifesto was made the basis for 
deportation proceedings against a number 
of comrades, during the Gary strike some 
months ago. Would Mr. Xuortcva assert 
that these passages in the manifesto of 
the Communist International were dic- 
tated—in Moscow— by agents of the Amer 
can Department of Justice? 

Mr. Xuortcva, in spite of being "secre 
tary" of the American Soviet Bureau, i< 
not a Communist; is, in fact, still a mem- 
ber of a discredited and reactionary So- 
cialist Party. I have evidence which is 
now on its way to the Soviet Government 
in Moscow proving that Mr. Nuorteva is 
engaged in a sinister plot to wreck the 
Communist Party of America, and that he 
is trying to use the prestige of the Amer- 
ican Soviet Bureau in his criminal plot. 

The moderate Socialists in most coun- 
tries have accused the Left element of 
being agents of the government-provoca- 
teurs. The Majority Socialists of Germany 
repeatedly stigmatized the Independents 
and Spartacans as agents provocateurs. 
During the Left Wing struggle in the 
American Socialist Party the representa- 



Xuortcva repeats the accusation as against 
the Communist Party— in the interests of 
the corrupt and reactionary Socialist 
Party. 

At this moment the American Commun- 
ist Party is engaged in a life and death 
struggle with the powers of reaction. The 
party has been organized only four months, 
but already more than 5,000 of our 45,000 
members have been arrested — one out of 



nine. Practically all our officials are un- 
der arrest, and meetings are all broken 
up. The American Government is deter- 
mined to break up our party. And at 
this moment Mr. Nuorteva tries to com- 
plete the demoralization of the party by 
a plot to discredit its active representa- 
tives. He will fail. Neither the plots nor 
the machine guns of the moderate Social- 
ists can break the Communist movement. 



Wasting English Money 



gram, which now constitute the basis for tives of the Left were more than once stig- 
vvholesale prosecutions and deportations."! matized as provocateurs; and now Mr. 



THE Manchester "Guardian," jn its issue 
of December 20, 1920, prints the fo!- 
owing editorial under the title "Sharing the 
Burden." We observe that while the ar- 
ticle appears to deal with English mat- 
ters, it throws an interesting light on one 
of the sources oT the impoverishment of 
the British exchequer: 

The house of Commons have passed with 
the necessary celerity the Government's 
Bill to increase the scale of relief to be 
granted to old-age pensioners. One may 
endorse without enthusiasm Mr. Lloyd 
George's tribute to the unanimity with 
which members resolved upon this deeper 
dive into the purse of the taxpayer. An- 
other hole in a sieve makes little odds. 
But it is worth while to get things in their 
proper perspective. The additional £10,000,- 
000 a year which the Government are pre- 
pared to spend on old people who at the 
end of their life's work have not more than 
10s. a week to live upon may seem a gen- I 
erous sum in the total. To the recipient [ 
it will mean a good deal less than what 
is commonly thought to be a living wage.! 
The Government refuse to do more on the! 
grounds of economy. Possibly they are 
right. We are all poorer, or" should be, i 
and perhaps the old-age pensioner ought! 



to bear his share of the increased national 
burden. But if the Government are right 
in this they are the more clearly wrong 
in other things. The final installment of 
General Denikin's subsidy, which the Gov- 
ernment have not paid but arc going to 
pay this winter, is an almost exact meas- 
ure of the additional amount which would 
be required to carry out in full the recom- 
mendations put forward by the Select Com- 
mittee last month. The Government put 
a higher value upon the fostering of civil 
war in Russian than they do upon secur- 
ing a decent means of subsistence to the 
old-age pensioner at home. 






FRENCH SOCIALISTS QUIT SECOND 
INTERNATIONAL 

A dispatch of February 29th states that 
the French Socialist Party has voted to 
leave the Second International. Probably 
the French party will now join with the 
German Independents, the British I. L. P., 
the Swiss party, etc., in the proposed con- 
ference to consider unity with the Com- 
munist International. 

The Paris section of the French party is 
predominantly Bolshevist, ready for imme- 
diate and unconditional affiliation with the 
Communist International, 



We Must Show an Unbroken Front to Our Enemy 

The capitalist class of the United States threw all the power of the government against the Communist Party of 
* America during the first week in January. 

Raids and arrests werj?««S*Hrd out on a scale never before undertaken by any government against the working 
class movement. Even the Czar was outdone by the agents of American capitalism. 

The capitalist government hoped to destroy the Communist Party by this unparalleled aggression and persecution. 



The Victims of the Raids 

Deportation 

About 3,000 members of the Communist Party 
are being held at Ellis Island, New York City, Deer 
Island, Boston, and in prisons throughout the coun- 
try. These men and women are charged with being 
members of the Communist Party, and because of such 
membership are threatened with deportation. 



Imprisonment 

Over 250 members of the party, among them the entire Central Executive 
Committee and all the Translator-Secretaries of the Federations, are under in- 
dictment under "criminal syndicalism" and "criminal anarchy*' laws. In Illinois 
all the national officers of the party and the local secretaries are charged with 
conspiracy to overthrow the government of the United States, and scores of in- 
dictments are pending against members of the party elsewhere, particularly in 
New York State and Michigan. 



Although the capitalist government threw all its power into the effort to destroy our party, it has failed. In spite 
or the wholesale arrests our organization is functioning. The government has taken three or four thousand of our work- 
ers, but there are tens of thousands left who stand in their places and who have assumed their work. 

The first duty of the party is to organize the defense of those comrades who are the victims of the ruling class 
attack upon us. 5 v«w»a 

We must see that not one of our members is needlessly sacrificed. We must fight their battles against deporta- 
tion and imprisonment. We must take advantage of every phase of capitalist laws to return them to our ranks and the 
service of the party. 

To carry on this work a Central Defense Bureau has been organized. 

This Bureau will have general charge of the defense of the party members everywhere. It will immediately give 
aid to those in localities where the defense organization is not functioning properly and as quickly as possible establish 
branches throughout the country to take over all defense work. 

Every party unit should at once send its contributions for this defense work. Circulate the Defense Fund lists 
and Defense Fund Stamps. 

The emergency is great, comrades, and you must make your contributions as great as the emergency. Never be- 
fore has a workmg class organization been compelled to defend more than 3,000 of its members at the same time 

Let us show an unbroken front m spite of this attack. Let us show the power of Communism by performing this 
task quickly and well. 

COMMUNIST DEFENSE COMMITTEE 



C. E. RUTHENBERG, Sec. I. E. FERGUSON, Treas 

ROSE PASTOR STOKES JAY LOVESTONE CHARLES DIRBA 



Send all contributions to: 



I. E. FERGUSON, 138 West 13th Street, New York City 

(Use this address for defense fund contributions only) 







THE COMMUNIST 



March 1, 1920 



September First Statement 

t „„-,: "The old divisions 
ti,;.. important mam- A nc 



of the E. C. of the CommunUt International 



Si 






i note " This important mam- 
SL« public.*™ >«• * 

She »««,!'?', fft» this 

basis.] 
«T)i.»r Comrade? ! , , 

"The preset phase of the revolutionary 
.onJnt has. along with other question.. 
verv sharply placed the question of pari a- 
^tariso uron the order ot the days d»- 
c«Son, In Frat/e, America. England and 
Germany, simultaneously with the aggra- 
vation of the class struggle, all revolution- 
cnts are adhering to the Commun 
-'movement by uniting among themselves 
ardinating their actions under the 
The anarchistic- 



slogan of Soviet power. 



syndicalist groups 



and the groups That now 



then call themselves simply anarchis- 
tic are thus also joining the general cur- 
rent The executive committee ot the Com- 
munist International welcomes this most 
heartily. 

L W. W. Lead* Fight for Soviet Here 
"In France the syndicalist group ot Com- 
rade Pericat forms the heart of the Com- 
munist party; in America, and also to some 
extent in England, the fight for the So- 
viets is led by such organizations as the 
I. W. W. (Industrial Workers of the 
Wo'rJdL These groups and tendencies have 
vs actively opposed the parliamentary 
cd5 ©f fighting, 
-0« the oth« haa4 the elements ot the 



in the international 

.^vcmcnVhavc plainly outlived their 
ime The war has caused a regrouping, 
dany of the anarchists or syndicalists, 
rito rejected parliamentarism, conducted 
themselves just as despicably and treason- 
iYo during the five years Of the war as 
did the old leaders of the Social Democ- 
racy who always have the name of Marx 
on their lips. The unification of forces 
being effected in a new manner: some are 
for the proletarian revolution, for the So- 
viets, for the dictatorship, for mass action, 
even up to armed uprisings— the others 
are against this plan. This is the principal 
question today. This is the main criterion. 
The new combinations will be formed ac- 
cording to these labels, and are being so 
formed already. 



Destroy Parliament. While UtUUlng Them. 
Say Communists 

Now we take up the second basic ques- 
tion; Can the bourgeois parliaments be 
fully utilised for the purpose of dcvelop- 
ing'the revolutionary class struggle? Log' 
ically, as we just remarked, this question 
la by no means related to the first ques- 
tion. In fact: A person surely can be try 
i„g t o destroy any kind of an O'^J^L, 
by joining it and by 'utilnUng it. This is 
aiso perfectly understood by our class ene- 
mies vvhen'they exploit the oluc.al Socta 
Democratic parties, the trade unions and 
he like for their purposes. 



Sovietism and Parliamentarism 

"In what relation does the recognition 
of the Soviet idea stand to parliamentar- 
ism? Right here a sharp dividing line 
must be drawn between two questions 
which logically have nothing to do with 
each other: The question of parliamentar- 
ism as a desired form of the organization 
of the state and the question of the ex- 
ploitation of parliamentarism for the de- 
velopment of the revolution. The Com- 
rades often confuse these two questions, 
something which has an extraordinarily 
injurious effect upon the entire practical 
struggle. We wish to discuss eAch of these 
questions in its order and draw all th 
necessary deductions. 

Soviet Power Incompatible With 
Parliamentarism 

"What is the form of the proletarian 
dictatorship? We reply: The Soviets. 
This has been demonstrated by an experi- 
ence that has a world-wide significance, 
Can the Soviet power be combined with 
parliamentarism? No, and yet again, no. 
Jt is absolutely incompatible with the ex- 
isting 'parliaments, because , the parlia- 
mentary machine embodies the concen- 
trated power of the bourgeoisie. The depu- 
ties, the chambers of deputies, their news- 
ize action in Parliaments, papers, the system of bribery, the secret 
(The Loriot group in France, the connections of the parliamentarians with 
nembers of the A. S. P. in America [pos-| the leaders of the banks, the con\ection 
the American Socialist 



Communist party 



that arc derived from 



Socialist parties are, for the most 



part 



The 

voted 



Broke Up Constituent Assembly 

"Let us take the extreme example; 

Russian Communists, the Bolsheviki, 

n the election for the Constituent Assem 

blv. They met in its hall. But they cam, 

there to break up this Constituent within 

24 hours and fully to realize the Soviet 

power. The party of the Bolsheviki also 

had its deputies in the Czar's Impenal 

Duma. Did the party at that time 'recog 

nize' the Duma, as an ideal, or, at least, 

ti endurable form of government? It 

■ould be lunacy to assume that. It sent 
its representatives there so as to proceed 
against the apparatus of the Czarist power 
from that side, too, and to contribute to 
the destruction of that same Duma. It 
was not for nothing that the Czarist gov- 
ernment condemned the Bolshevist 'par- 
liamentarians' to prison for 'High treason.' 
The Bolshevist leaders were also carrying 
on an illegal work, although they 'tempo- 
rarily made use of their "inviolability' r 
welding together the masses for the driv 
against Czarism. 
"But Russia was not the only pluce where 

hat kind of 'parliamentary' activity was 



Parliamentary Betrayal Ha** 

-Yes we are for this— in consideration 
f lW holc list of conditions, W.e. know 
very well that in France, America and Eng- 
land no such parliamentarians have yet 
arisen from the masses of the workers. 
In those countries we have up to now 
observed a picture of parliamentary be- 
trayal, But this is no proof of the in- 
■ctness of the tactics that we regard 
>r recti 
It is only a matter of there being revo- 
lutionary parties there like the Bolsheviki 
or the German Sparticides. If there is 
such a party then everything can become 
quite different. It is particularly neces- 
sary: 1, that the deciding center of the 
truggle lies outside Parliament (strikes, 
uprisings and other kinds of mass action); 
1 that the activities in Parliament be com- 
bined with this struggle; 3, that the depu- 
ties also perform illegal work; 4, that they 
act for the central committee and subject 
to its orders ; 5, that they do not heed the 
parliamentary forms in their acts (have no 
fear of direct clashes with the bourgeois 
majority, 'talk past it/ etc.). 



No Fixed Election Tactic* 

The matter of taking part in the elec- 
tion at a given time, during a given elec- 
toral campaign, depends upon a whole 
string of concrete circumstances which, in 
each -'country, must be particularly con- 
sidered at each given time. The Russian 
Bolsheviki were for boycotting the elec- 
tions fgr the first Imperial Duma in 1906. 



And these same persons were for taking 
part in the elections of the second Im- 
perial Duma, when it had been shown that 
the bourgeois-agrarian power would still 
rul* in Russia for many a year. In the 
year 1918, before the election for the Ger- 
man National Assembly, one section of the 
carried on. Look at Germany and the I Sparticides was for taking part in trie 
activities of Liebknecht, The murdered I Sections, the other section was against it 
Comrade was the perfect type of a reyo- , But tne party of the Sparticides renfamed 
Unionist, and so was there then something un ined Communist party. 

,4 In principle we cannot renounce utili- 
zation of parliamentarism. The party of 



sibly meaning 

party], of the Independent Labor party in 
England. &&). All these tendencies, which 
ought to be united as soon as possible in 
the Communist party at all cost, need uni- 
form tactics. Consequently, the question 
must be decided on a broad scale and as a 
general measure, and the executive com- 
mittee of the Communist International 
turns to all the affiliated parties with the 
present circular letter, which is especially 
dedicated to this question. 

Recognition of Dictatorship Unifying 

Programs 
"The universal unifying program is at 
the present moment the recognition of the 
struggle for the dictatorship of the prole- 
tariat in the form of the Soviet power. 
History has so placed the question that it 
is right on this issue that the line 
drawn between the revolutionary prole- 
tarii* and the opportunists, between the 
Communists and the social traitors of every 
brar.d. The so-called Center (KauUky in 
Carroany, Longuet in France, the L L. P, 
ar.d *ome element* of the B. S .P. in Eng- 
land, Hillquit in America), it, in apite of 
iU protestations, an objectively anti-So- 
ciaiiafUndcncY, because it cannot, and doe» 
not wish to, lead the struggle for the So- 
viat power of the proletariat. 

.' contrary, those groups and par 



with all the apparatus of the bourgeois 
state — all these are fetters for the working 
class. They must burst. 

"The governmental machine of the bour- 
geoisie, consequently also the bourgeois 
parliaments, are to be broken, disrupted, 
destroyed, and upon their ruins is to be 
organized a new power, the power of the 
union of the working class, the workers' 
"parliaments,' i. c., the Soviets. 



Peaceful Revolution Not Obtainable by 
Parliamentary Methods 

"Only the betrayers of the workers can 
deceive the workers with the hope of a 
'peaceful' social revolution, along the lines 
of parliamentary reforms. Such persons 
are the worst enemies of the working class, 
and a most pitiless struggle must be waged 
against them; no compromise with them 
is permissible. Therefore, our slogan for 
any bourgeois country you may choose is: 
'Down with the Parliament! Long live the 
power of the Soviets!' 

Nevertheless, a person may put the 
question this way: 'Very well, you deny 
the power of the present bourgeois par- 
liaments; then why don't you organize new, 
more democratic parliaments on the basis 
of a real universal suffrage? During the 
Socialist revolution the struggle has be- 
come so acute that the working class must 
act quickly and resolutely, without allow 



ties which formerly rejected any kind of ing its class enemies to enter into its camp, 
political straggles (for example, some an- into its organization of power. Such qual- 
tsXlHSl grottp>) 4 r.*ve. by recognizing the jitics are only found in the Soviets of work- 



Soriet power, the dictatorship of the prole- 
tariat, really abandoned their old stand- 
point a& to political action, because they 
have recognized the idea of the seizure of 
power by the working class, the power 
that is neceisary for the suppression of 
^ourgeotjie. Thus, we re- 
peat, l ;:rarn for the struggle 
Soviet dictatorship has been found. 



trs, soldiers, sailors and peasants, elected 
the factories and shops, in the country 
and in the barracks. , So the question of 
the form of the proletarian power is put 
this way. Now the government is to be 
overthrown. Kings, presidents, parlia- 
ments, chambers of deputies, national as- 
semblies; all these institutions are our 
sworn enemies, that must be destroyed 



non-revolutionary in the fact that he, irom 
the tribune of the cursed Prussian Land- 
tag, called upon the soldiers to rise against 
Landtag? On the contrary. Here, too, 
e the complete admissibility and use- 
fulness of his exploitation of the situation. 
If Liebknecht had not been a deputy he 
would never have been able to accomplish 
such an act; his speeches would have had 
no such an echo. The example of the Swed- 
ish Communists in Parliament also con 
vinccs us of this. In Sweden Comrade 
Hoglund played, and plays, the same role 
as Liebknecht did in Germany. Making 
use of his position as a deputy, he assists 
in destroying the bourgeois parliamentary 
system; none else in Sweden has done as 
much for the cause of the revolution and 
the struggle against the war as our friend. 
Bulgarian Communists' Work Satisfactory 

"In Bulgaria we sec the same thing. 
The Bulgarian Communists have success- 
fully exploited the tribune of Parliament 
for revolutionary purposes. At the recent 
elections they won seats for 47 deputies. 
Comrades Blagoief, Kirkof, Kolarof, and 
other leaders of the Bulgarian Communist 
party understand how to exploit the par- 
liamentary tribune in the service of the 
proletarian revolution. , Such 'parliament 
ary work' demands peculiar daring and ; 
special revolutionary spirit; the men there 
arc occupying especially dangerous K posi- 
tions; they are laying mines under the 
enemy while in the enemy's camp ; they 
enter Parliament for the purpose of get- 
ting this machine in their hands in order 
to assist the masses behind the walls of 
the Parliament in the work of blowing it 
up. 

Are we for the maintenance of the bour- 
geois 'democratic* parliaments as the form 
of the administration of the state? 



"No, not in any case. We are for the 
Soviets. 

"But are wc for the full utilization of 
these parliaments for our Communist work 
—as long as we are not yet strong enough 
to overthrow the Parliament? 



the Russian Bolsheviki declared, in the 
spring of 1918, at its seventh congress, when 
it was already in power, in a special reso- 
lution, that the Russian Communists, in 
case the bourgeois democracy in Russia, 
through a peculiar*combination of circum- 
stances, should once more get the upper 
hand, could be compelled to return to the 
utilization of bourgeois parliamentarism. 
Room for maneuvering is also to be al- 
lowed in this respect. 

"The Comrades' principle efforts are to 
consist in the work of mobilizing the 
masses; establishing the party, organizing 
their own groups in the unions and cap- 
turing them, organizing Soviets in the 
course of the struggle, leading the mass 
struggle, agitation for the revolution among 
the masses— all this is of first importance; 
parliamentary action and participation in 

lection campaigns only as one of the 
helps in this work— no more. 

Insists Upon Unity of Communists 

"If this is so— and it undoubtedly is so- 
then it is a matter of course that it doesn't 
pay to split into those factions that are 
of different opinions only about this, now 
secondary, question. The practice of par- 
liamentary prostitution was so disgusting 
that even the best Comrades have preju- 
dices on this question. These ought to be 
overcome in the course of the revolution- 
ary struggle. Therefore, we urgently ap- 
peal to all groups and organizations which 
are carrying on a real struggle for the 
Soviets, and call upon them to unite firmly, 
even despite the lack of agreement on this 
question. 

"All those who arc for the Soviets and 
the proletarian dictatorship wish to unite 
as soon as possible and form a unified 
Communist party. 

"With Communist greetings, 

"G. ZINOVIEF, 
"President of the Executive Committee ol 
the Communist International! 
'September 1, 1919."